Boat scare plan sinks

The federal Liberal Party and its advertising agency, News Crap Australia, obviously share the view that it’s never too late to scare voters away from the Labor Party by dredging up visions of asylum seekers sailing boats over the horizon to occupy our wide brown land, steal our jobs, and implement Shariah law.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has tried to bait Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese on the subject to little effect so far.

Enter his party’s ad agency which willingly ran in its metro turdbloids during the week a prominent story – an “exclusive” of course – telling readers that the previous Labor government had “released more than 500 boat people from detention centres who went on to commit crimes including murder, rape, and drug dealing”. (pictured)

The story, readers were told, was based on “government analysis” that had been “compiled in time for the election campaign”.

So we assume it would be information drawn from official federal government departmental sources with the clear intent of using it for political purposes. That’s why to our mind the actual story should have been one asking why the Morrison government wasted taxpayers’ funds assigning departmental officials to trawl through a myriad of records just to drum up possibly spurious figures aimed at attacking Labor.

But then again, we are dealing with News Crap Australia. That’s why the story included quote after quote from Immigration Minister Alex Hawke responding to the “revelations” in the story – revelations he helped engineer no doubt and handed to a willing News Crap Australia.

In his quote after quote Mr Hawke warned that former Labor immigration ministers who apparently were personally responsible for allowing the alleged dastardly deeds to happen would serve in cabinet again if Anthony Albanese was PM. Shock horror!

Of course News Crap Australia’s usual “balanced” approach was evident in the story which mercilessly bucketed Labor but ended with just two sentences from a Labor spokesperson describing the claims as another Morrison scare campaign.

In the days following its publication our MGH teams cannot detect any great follow-up from other media.

They think that unless that happens we may well see the PM himself towing an asylum seeker boat into Sydney Harbour before the campaign is over. (main picture)

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We’ve been keeping a keen eye out all week, but so far we haven’t seen a front page splash and inside double-page spread in the Sydney turdbloid The Daily Telegraph featuring a soft ball interview with the independent MP for Warringah, Zali Steggall.

Applying accepted journalistic standards (their mistake, we admit) our MGH researchers have been expecting the News Crap Australia paper to give Ms Steggall the same level of coverage it devoted to the Liberal Party’s controversial Warringah candidate last Monday. (pictured)

Our researchers live in hope (again, their mistake) that the paper’s federal political editor and Sky News “after dark” commentator James Morrow who wrote the Deves advertisement… sorry, news story … will give Ms Steggall the same free kick, especially since the incumbent MP and ex-Olympian was bagged by Deves in Monday’s story as “a hypocrite” on the issue of trans people in sport.

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Our MGH teams have regularly run items about the tactics used by News Crap Australia to run shameless commercial plugs for related parts of its media empire by disguising them as “news” stories.

The latest one we noted was a page three “news” story about a young actress aptly named Odessa Young on page three of The Daily Telegraph. (below)

It led off with a couple of paragraphs about her career success so far before quickly moving on to tell readers that she was starring in a “much-anticipated” new drama series.

Coincidentally the series, readers were informed, would start on the Binge subscription streaming service that very day with a special “triple-episode premiere” and “new episodes dropping daily”.

They weren’t informed that Binge is part of the Murdoch empire.

Quite helpfully, the Tele story even printed the word Binge as BINGE – in all caps just like its trademarked logo.

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If media consumers ever need evidence that middle-aged or even just very old people are the gatekeepers for the information appearing in contemporary news outlets, our MGH have some to share.

First there was the headline on a story in News Corp Australia’s Adelaide Advertiser (pictured) about the financial and economic uplift from a new housing development which we assume was a play on the name of the UK pop group Buck’s Fizz which shot to fame in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1981 – that’s more than 40 years ago.

The second example is the headline in a story run in several News Corp Australia outlets about the UK city of York throwing out the Duke of York’s status as freeman of the city. (pictured)

Our MGH researchers point out that the “Duke of hurl” reference echoes The Duke of Earl – a number-one hit song for US artist Gene Chandler in, wait for it, 1962.

Do these two examples tell us something about the demographics of News Corp Australia’s staff or its readership?